“Purple Matrix All In My Brain” © Bonnie Matthews Brock


Clara Bow in the Tavern

Your hazel eyes glowed
like windows from a distant cottage
on a secluded hillside
wherein you lay hidden.

Yet, I saw you today
when you were being someone else
your sad mouth defiant
your wide eyes compliant;
you, with a face
from the silent age.

You, saw me
a child in a man’s clothing
a comic book easy to read
a desperate devotee
another customer waiting for a pint.

You gave a forged smile
to a group of admirers
before walking into my life
and I knew then
you had ‘it’.

I uttered something like, alright love?
and your face began to thaw
but then froze again
asking, what would you like?

Too shy to make use of that feedline
I asked for a pint and watched you pour,
took my change and sat down
defeated, biting my cheek.

You danced among the optics
your long auburn hair oscillating
like the tail of a bay horse
to Donna Summers ‘I Feel Love’.

I, not yet ready for your close up
looked down at my glass
knowing I’d need a few refills
before selecting C5 again.


David Ratcliffe was born in West Yorkshire and left school at 15 to bring in a wage to help the family. After three years as a weaver, He left to join the Royal Navy. After serving for 6 years, he settled in Portsmouth, staying there for 35 years until moving back up north on retirement. His writing journey began 25 years ago when he wrote song lyrics to provide his daughter with original songs to help with her singing career. Writing songs progressed into poetic verse, then into short stories and eventually stage plays. His other hobby is playing the ukulele and impersonating George Formby at parties.

Bonnie Matthews Brock is a Florida-based photographer, as well as a school psychologist. Her images have been published in Ibbetson Street, The Somerville Times, Oddball Magazine, Beyond Words Literary Magazine, and Wild Roof Journal. Her work is archived at Harvard University, the University of Buffalo, and Poets House in NYC. Bonnie loves to capture, in images, a very wide range of subjects, and to learn and experiment with shooting and editing techniques.